|Chapter Number||XIII (CONTINUED)|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
(Fron Endll.li, American, ana otbar Periodicals.)
CH iPTER Sill.-( Continued),
Mies McAllister looked greatly relieved as she listened te this while she longed to take the sweet maiden into her arms and kiss her for trying to make the rough way so smooth for them all.
" Arley, do you hear ?" she said, turning to her ; " there ia to be no change ; Inua wishes to retain her first name, and desires that you will keep youre."
"Ah but that does not explain wita I am,"cried the poor child, who, weary and weak from all the excitement of the day, and cut to the heart by her husband's strange treatment, was fast losing all self
" You are Philip Paxten's toif e,"Misa McAllistersaid viith a glance of stern appeal at the newlymade hus- band, who still stood before the portrait of Evelyn
Wentworth as if in a trance.
She felt that he ought to come and comfort the afflicted girl, and not etand there moodily brooding over what could not be helped.
He started at her words, as if a viper had stung bim, muttered an angry oath, and without even so much Re a glance at his unhappy bride, he abruptly
tamed and left the room.
This was the one bitter drop too much in Arley's cup
of woe, and with a moan of pain she lay back In Miss I
Angelina's arms and fainted away.
Philip Paxton stalked down stairs, looking like anything rather than a happy bridegroom.
His face was startlingly pale, his eyes glowed witb
fierce,' lurid light/and his manner was wild and ex- '
Meeting Wil Hamilton at the foot of the stairs for ha waa going up to see what was detaining the young couple so long-he told him that Arley had been taken suddenly ill, and would be unable either to take leave of ber friends or go on her journey at present, and he begged him to excuse them both to the company.
Then without waiting to explain anything further, ne dashed on into the library to hide himself, his rage and disappointment, from every eyes.
But here he found another lion in his path, in the form of a strange gentleman, who was sitting quietly there, and apparently waiting for some one.
" I beg pardon," Plilip said, stiffly, and glaring at lim almost savagely. "I was not aware that there was any one here."
"My name is Aldan, sir, and I am waiting fora young lady who ÜBB gone up Btairs to see Mrs. Paxton," .the man returned, rising and bowing politely to Philip.
Philip bit his lip fiarcely at this intelligence.
"I am Mr, Paxton,"he said abruptly, " and I have just left my wife."
" indeed 1 then doubtless you have learned the sature of the business which brought MÍSB Corrillion and myself hither* I regret that we were obliged to come to-day, but it could not be avoided, and, indeed Miss Wentworth'«-your wife's-lawyer advised UB to see her, and you also, before you went away," Mr. Aldon explained.
"Don't you think your errand a strange and rather doubtful one?" Philip asked, with curling Ups.
" A * strange' one it certainly is; a donbtful one, no, I bad no doubt regarding the identity of the young lady, who for three years pnst, has been a member of my family, eren before I saw the portrait which a BSivant has just removed from this room. I Baked whose picture it was, and was told that it was Miss Wentworths mother ; but I certainly never saw a closer resemblance between mother and daughter than there is between my protegee and that por-
" And if'you succeed in establishing the identity of .your protegee,, as you call her, I suppose you expect to obtain for her the fortune which Dr, MoAllister Seft," Phillip «aid with a sneer.
The gentlemen changed color slightly at this.
" If her identity is proved, there can be no doubt that it properly belongs to her," Mr. Alden answered with grave politeness. "It is MissCorrillion's wish not to make any trouble, or put forth any claim for .this money ; but it seems to me that full justice should be done, and the fortune which rightly be- longs to her be made over to her."
«Shenewer shall have it if I can prevent it," Philip retorted. " I am a lawyer, and I shall do my utmost to save my wife from being wronged in this 7?By. Dr. McAllister left it to her, and no other. He brought her up from n little child, believing she .belonged to him. He loved her as his own, and he meant that Bhe alone should have his money."
« YSB, that is doubtless all true," replied his com- panion ; " but if the revelation of to-day had been made while he was living -if he had learned that Mia. Paxton was not the child of his daughter, as he . Ead always supposed, and if it had been proved, on
the other hand, that Ina Corrillion was, your com- mon sense, sir, as well as my own, tells you that his ?jill would have been very different, without regard to what his affection might have dictated."
The man's argument waa very sensible and forcible nnd Phillip knew well enough, if the matter WBB pushed that the law would give that coveted twenty thousand pounds to the new claimant, and the thought exasperated him beyond endurance, and he put an end to the debate by abruptly walking to the
other aide of the room.
' He was bound to acknowledge to himself, in con Bideration of the proofs which the girl had presented natd her wonderful resemblance to the portrait, that
ehe was indeed and in truth the child of Evelyn I Wentworth. He knew that any jury before whom the facts should be presented would so rule ; but it was a most bitter pill for him to swallow,
What BOW would become of all the hopes and plans which had so depended upon the winning of Arley's fortune ?
He had not a hundred pounds of his own in the world, but the thought had not given him the slight- est trouble until now. He had felt comfortably secure from all pecuniary anxiety with the snug in- come which he believed his wife would bring him, He knew that they could live in a very easy, happy way upon it ; while, with his talents and the reputa- tion which be had been rapidly acquiring duiing the last two or three years, he believed it would not be long before he would be independent;
But now the loes of this money maddened him, and made him wreckless of what he said or did, par- ticularly when be remembered how he bad stooped
to win it,
"What on earth are we to do?" he muttered] gloomily to himself. " Here I am, saddled with a wife poorer than I am-that is if this fortune has to go, as I fear it must-and I see nothing but pinching poverty before us, at least for the present. I swear my pride will not stand it ! I expected to live at my ease and in style-to go about in the same society in which Arley bas always moved, and enjoy the luxuries of life, lint now nutbiug lemaiuo tu uo but to hide ourselves in cheap lodgings, and live from hand to mouth, I vow 1 never will do it ! I'll turn Bohemian and live by my wits first. I haven't the courage to face all London after this ig- nominious tumble from the pinnacle of my glory."
While be was thus absorbed in his bitter musings, j the door opened again, and the inoffensive object of \
his wrath entered,
She went up to Mr. Alden and said, with a smile : " I have kept you waiting a long time, sir. I am sorry, but there seemed so much to explain and talk
¡ "And do they acknowledge your claim ?" her com-
panion asked, with a doubtful glance at Philip.
I " Yes, sir, at least Mrs. Paxton and MÍBS McAllister have been very kind ; they have received me very cordislly, and I am henceforth to be known as Isa Wentworth, I ara to keep my old first name and Mrs. Paxton is to retain hers, as we both think it would be very awkward to change."
"And the-" Mr. Aldan began, eagerly, but ehe stopped him with a gesture, and a warning look at Philip.
" That is as far as we have been able to get as yet," she said, with a significant glance, " Mrs, Paxton is, of course, greatly disturbed and excited over the re- velations which I have made, and the mystery with which they enshroud her own identity,"
" That of course is to be expected ; but I am very glad to know that so few difficulties have been placed in your path," Mr. Alden returned, evidently well pleased with the result of her intetvtew.
" Miss McAllister insists," Ina continued " that I shall remain here with her; she says she will be left alone when Mrs. Paxton goes away, and she feels that this ought henceforth to be my home. I have consented to Blay for awhile at leBst, so you will be obliged to take my regrets to Mrs, Alden, and go home without me," she concluded with a smile that was not altogether tearless, BB shs thought of the three little ones whom ehe had learned to love eo well.
" That ÍB as it should be, and you will probably re- main here permanently," Mr. Alden remarked, with evident satisfaction, as he arose to go, then added, in a tone of genuine regret :
" We shall be loth to lose you Miss Cortil-MÍEB Wentworth," he corrected, with a emile, "but of course we rejoice over your good fortune. You have been very faithful and kind to my children, who love you dearly, and will miss you sadly."
"And I them," Ina returned, in a husky voice, " while I shall always regard you and your wife BB among my beat of friends,"
She held out her hand as she ceased speaking, and Mr* Alden shook it heartily, and then took his de- parture.